Saturday, December 14, 2019

Dunne tips City to edge Liverpool in Premier League title battle

SoccerNews in English Premier League 27 Mar 2019


Manchester City and Liverpool will retain their relentless form until the end of the Premier League season according to Richard Dunne, but the ex-City captain expects his former club to prevail.

City travel to Fulham on Saturday as action in England’s top flight resumes following the international break, while Liverpool host Tottenham at Anfield a day later.

The Reds are two points better off at the top of the table but City have a game in hand – a rescheduled Manchester derby at Old Trafford on April 24 – due to their progress to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Pep Guardiola believes his team and Liverpool will drop points during the final twists and turns of an intriguing title race, but Dunne is not so sure.

“It’ll go down to the wire, I think. You’d almost fancy both sides to go on and win the rest of their games,” he told Omnisport.

“Pep’s been saying that he doesn’t think it’s possible, but I think anything is possible with this team.”

EFL Cup winners City are in contention for an unprecedented quadruple, while Liverpool also remain in the running for back-to-back Champions League finals.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are heavy favourites going into their two-legged quarter-final against Porto, while City are widely tipped to prevail in an all-English affair versus Tottenham.

Should both teams’ European campaigns reach the semi-final stage, which concludes four days before the Premier League’s last round of fixtures, Dunne feels the effect could be telling.

“The next round of the Champions League could have an impact on it in terms of the intensity of the games they have to play,” said the former Republic of Ireland centre-back.

“The quarter-final matches are a lot closer together than the last-16 matches were – how well can the teams recover?

“I just think Man City have the stronger squad. If Liverpool had got knocked out by Bayern that might have given them the upper hand.

“For now, if things continue as I think they will, I think City have the stronger squad and the experience to win it [the Premier League].”

Liverpool are aiming to end a 29-year wait for their 19th English title and City could break new ground by winning their maiden Champions League – pieces of prospective history that could yet serve to pull the teams in opposite directions.

“The motivation for Liverpool [to win the Premier League] is the same as the motivation for City to win that Champions League,” Dunne added.

“Maybe if they drop off one weekend in the Premier League that could be all that it takes to cost them.”


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